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Suzi Quatro and her sisters, Patti, Arlene & Nanci, who played together as The Pleasure Seekers, will be reuniting for a special appearance at the 2012 Detroit Music Awards on Friday April 27 starting at 6:00 PM at the Fillmore in Detroit.
Grosse Pointe-born sisters Suzi, Patti, Nanci and Arlene Quatro formed
Detroit’s first and most famous all-girl garage-rock group, the Pleasure
Seekers, in 1964. After just a few weeks practice, the band dared Dave Leone to give them a slot at his popular teen nightclub, The Hideout, in Detroit. He put them on stage two weeks later and they never looked back.
These days most people are familiar with the 61-year-old Suzi Quatro, who’s well known for her string of U.K. and Euro hits.
“Our era rocked!” Patti Quatro told Bangagong! “Detroit was an explosion of music and groups at that time.”
After starting out at The Hideout they were soon touring the Midwest and eventually even USO shows to Vietnam in 1967. Their first single, on the local Hideout label, was Never Thought You’d Leave Me. The flipside, What A Way To Die, was spotlighted in the cult drive-in film Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls.
They were also the first all-girl rock band to sign to a national label. Mercury Records inked the band in 1968 and they immediately released the single, Light Of Love that was aired nationally. The flipside was Good Kind of Hurt. I remember we had it in our 45 collection not long after it came out.
Another early recollection I have of the band is seeing them on the Upbeat TV show based in Cleveland, OH on WEWS Channel 5. After seeing them it finally hit me, Hey! Girls can rock n roll and play guitar too! What a novel concept!
The original line-up included Suzi Quatro (bass & vocals), Patti Quatro (guitar), Nancy Ball (drums) and Mary Lou Ball (guitar), and Diane Baker (keyboards). Eventually Arlene Quatro came on as keyboardist through 1969. (Of note, Arlene married manager Leo Fenn and their daughter is actress Sherilynn Fenn.) Other replacements included sister Nancy Quatro, Darline Arnone on drums and vocals and Eileen Biddlingmeier on rhythm guitar.
By 1970 they adapted the name Cradle and went with a much harder sound. Soon after Suzi left for England and a solo career and Patti went to California (in ’74) to join the all-female rock band Fanny while Suzi launched her solo career that continues to this day.
While they never achieved national superstardom, The Pleasure Seekers rocked the house, with attitude, throughout the Midwest and the east coast during the freewheelin’ sixties and helped pave the road for other all-female bands to come along and be taken seriously as hard rockers.
In 2011 the Quatro sisters issued two retrospective CDs in an attempt to
finally document the history of the two bands they were involved in during the 60’s and early 70’s. The Pleasure Seekers: What A Way To Die covers the singles on Hideout and Mercury along with unreleased cuts from 1964 to 1969. Cradle: The History is a live collection of unreleased original material recorded at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit.
In December 2005 a documentary chronicling Suzi Quatro’s life, Naked Under Leather, directed by former member of The Runaways, Victoria Tischler Blue, appeared. In March 2007, Quatro released a version of the Eagles song Desperado followed by the publication of her autobiography, Unzipped.
Suzi Quatro has sold over 45 million records and was voted into Michigan Rock and Roll Legends in 2011.
SUZI QUATRO today
Tickets to the 2012 Detroit Music Awards are $20. Other musicians on
the bill will include Hip-hop hero Black Milk, garage-girl Amy Gore & Her Valentines, throwback crooner Ben Sharkey, swing group Planet D Nonet and country-twanger Paulina Jayne will all perform. Info at: http://www.detroitmusicawards.com
(c)2012 Doc Lehman/Bangagong!